Local Mop Company Aids in Art Exhibit

 In Community, Special Events

Yardstick is pleased to present Mopping Up, an exhibition of new work by Melissa Dorn, with an opening reception this Friday, October 5, 2018, from 5- 8 p.m. at 317 Steele St. in Algoma, WI.

In 2015, Melissa Dorn began obsessing over mops.  Mopping Up, heavily influenced by industrial mop heads, comments on issues around labor, women’s work, and abstraction. The exhibition features drawings, paintings, and sculptures as well as an altering of the gallery space.

Why mops?  While reading 33 Artists in 3 Acts by Sarah Thornton, Dorn came across the word “mop.”  She couldn’t get the word out of her head. She wrote it down. She sketched her version of the mop. The word became funnier the more she obsessed about it. “Mop is a funny word. It’s short,” Dorn explains, “but it feels alive. If you repeat it over and over again in your head, then start saying it aloud, it sounds funny and then becomes even funnier.”

Mop Wall Hanging Detail by Melissa Dorn  Mop Wall Hanging by Melissa DornMop Wall Hanging by Melissa Dorn

Dorn thought the mop might just stay in her sketchbook and her head until she remembered her mom frequently calling her a mop head when she needed a haircut.  Now, from hair to labor to feminism, Dorn realizes the endless possibilities of mops.

This exhibition runs from October 5 – November 2, 2018, with a reception on Friday, October 5, 5-8 p.m. Yardstick is located at 317 Steele Street, Algoma, WI 54201.

Hours of operation for October 2018 are October 5, 5-8pm; October 6, 12-5pm; October 7, 12-4pm, October 13, 12-4pm, October 20, 12-4pm, October 27, 12-4pm, and November 2, 5-8pm and by appointment at 785.917.9628.

About the artist

Melissa DornMelissa Dorn works between painting and sculpture. She infuses common objects, things often overlooked, with humor and animating textures. Dorn Richards, who earned her BFA from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, has been making art in Milwaukee for over 20 years. Dorn is represented by Frank Juarez Gallery.

Her work is found in many corporate collections including Tax-Air, Northwestern Mutual, Mandel Group, West Bend Mutual Insurance Company, Littler Mendelson and Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design.

Select exhibitions include: The Jump Off, Urban Institute for Contemporary Art; Detroit Biennale, Museum of New Art;Wisconsin Artists Biennial, Museum of Wisconsin Art; Preservatif, Stockholm Gallery; Forward 2014, Charles Allis Art Museum; Up, Down!, River Edge Gallery; Moving Mountains, Frank Juarez Gallery; Schematic, UW-Sheboygan; Eight Counties, John Michael Kohler Arts Center; Art Chicago and Aqua Art Miami, Hotcakes Gallery.


About Yardstick Algoma
Yardstick is a multifaceted work in progress housed in a historical building in downtown Algoma, Wisconsin. We plan to open as a progressive bookstore, gallery and coffee shop in Spring of 2019.  The name Yardstick is meant to remind us to measure up to our ideals and practice.

Meantime, Yardstick is hosting pop-up events in its unfinished space, including this exhibition of Melissa Dorn’s work, as well as various readings.  We will open a holiday pop-up shop in Yardstick’s storefront in November and December, close the store to complete our vision, and re-open, fully realized, in Spring 2019.

Yardstick is owned by Heidi Raak, who was the owner of the Raven Book Store in Lawrence, Kansas for ten years before moving to Algoma, Wisconsin in October 2017.  She was born in Boston, grew up in Western Pennsylvania, and spent the last 20 years in Lawrence, Kansas, before falling in love with Algoma and the Michigan shore.

For further information on the exhibitionMopping Up: New Work by Melissa Dorn, please email heidi@yardstickalgoma.com or call 785.917.9628.

About Collaboration with East Shore Industries/Algoma Mop Manufacturers

East Shore Industries (ESI) and its subsidiary, Algoma Mop Manufacturers, worked with artist Melissa Dorn to provide the fibers used in portions of her installation Mopping Up.  Dorn remarks “I originally found out about Algoma Mop through my intern, who did some research on mop facilities in the area. She contacted them and they were very interested in what I was doing with mops. They offered to take me on a tour of their facility which I gladly took them up on. It was really informative to see how mops were made and to realize all the different colors that they come in. The tour definitely informed what I’m doing and also spurred ideas for the installation of my exhibition at the Frank Juarez Gallery.

I did acquire some mop material from them that will be in some of the works in the exhibition.”

Melissa Dorn at East Shore Industries

Dorn also worked with East Shore clients on an art project while visiting the facility.

With a goal of helping individuals with disabilities obtain personal independence and employment goals, East Shore Industries, located in Algoma, WI, offers a unique program designed to meet each client’s specific needs. With various day service programs, a community job placement program, in-house subcontract work, and a mop manufacturing facility, our clients develop life skills allowing each individual the opportunity to contribute to his or her own well-being and to the community in which they live.

Algoma Mop Manufacturers started in 1926 and was purchased by ESI in 1981. Today Algoma Mop Manufacturers is an independent company selling high-quality wet mops, dust mops, microfiber mops, and accessories to businesses. It provides a consistent source of employment opportunities for the individuals ESI serves and delivers an excellent product in quality and value.

For information on Algoma Mop Manufacturers, please contact Allan Wartella sales@algomamop.com and for information on the client art project, please contact Candance Hanmann, chanmann@eastshoreindustries.com.

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